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Bloodchild {novelette} (1984)

by Octavia E. Butler

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1049194,063 (3.83)19
Years ago a group known as the Terrans left Earth in search of a life free of persecution. Now they live alongside the Tlic, an alien race who face extinction; their only chance of survival is to plant their larvae inside the bodies of the humans. When Gan, a young, boy, is chosen as a carrier of Tlic eggs, he faces an impossible dilemma: can he really help the species he has grown up with, even if it means sacrificing his own life? Bloodchild is Octavia E. Butler's shattering meditation on symbiosis, love, power and tough choices. It won the Hugo, Locus, Nebula and Science Fiction Chronicle awards and is widely regarded as one of her greatest works.… (more)

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» See also 19 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Men very much get the better side of the pregnancy deal. The impact of this and [Kindred] make me think I'm going to read everything Butler has written.
  thenumeraltwo | Feb 10, 2020 |
This review contains minor spoilers

Bloodchild is a fascinating novelette that leaves you aghast and impressed and repulsed, all at the same time.

It opens with a scene that seems awash with domestic harmony- Gan, the Terran (human) narrator and his family are spending a casual evening at home, along with T'Gatoi, a Tlic being. They're all very comfortable with each other, and it is obvious Gan and T'Gatoi have a bond that is somehow vital. She's cradling him, and the Terran family with the exception of Gan's mother are sipping on sterile eggs, rendering them all mildly high. Everything indicates to it being a routine, mundane ritual for the family. Yet the air hangs heavy, with a sense of unease.

When an unfortunate incident takes place, the underlying tensions come to surface. What follows is a compelling and horrifying tale about symbiosis, choices in the face of survival, love, and some subversion of gender expectations. Octavia E. Butler's prose is quite intoxicating, much like T'Gatoi's sting. ( )
  AceFeminist | Dec 7, 2018 |
Pretty disturbing! ( )
  gabarito | May 13, 2018 |
...I very much liked this story. Although the middle in particular is quite horrific, the story ends on a note of hope for the future. What I also liked about it is that Butler manages to do so much with it in so few words. Any of the themes she uses could have been enough to carry a story. Despite the elements of exploitation and gender relations, the story is not overly political or moralizing. Butler channels it all into the confrontation in a way that makes you feel she needed those elements in her story rather than add them because she felt she had something to say about these issues. Bloodchild is so very well constructed that it is not surprising it has remained her most popular short story. I guess I really should get around to reading one of her novels.

Full Random Comments review ( )
  Valashain | Jan 5, 2017 |
Dawn and Adulthood Rites have made me a huge Octavia Butler fan. I looked forward to reading Bloodchild, but I was left with mixed feelings after reading it. As expected, Butler touched on many significant topics. The element of male pregnancy was unique. The "Preserve" invoked thoughts of the Native American reservations. The way the Tlic viewed Terrans reminded me of the American slavery era. However, there was so much going on that I felt that the story was left incomplete. There seemed to be plenty there to extend the story into a full novel. Nevertheless, Butler's boundless imagination and ability to weave poignant topics into her writings always amazes me. ( )
  BlackAsh13 | Jan 30, 2016 |
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This is the entry for the novelette length work of short fiction. Please don't combine it with the entry for the collection Blood Child and Other Stories.
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Years ago a group known as the Terrans left Earth in search of a life free of persecution. Now they live alongside the Tlic, an alien race who face extinction; their only chance of survival is to plant their larvae inside the bodies of the humans. When Gan, a young, boy, is chosen as a carrier of Tlic eggs, he faces an impossible dilemma: can he really help the species he has grown up with, even if it means sacrificing his own life? Bloodchild is Octavia E. Butler's shattering meditation on symbiosis, love, power and tough choices. It won the Hugo, Locus, Nebula and Science Fiction Chronicle awards and is widely regarded as one of her greatest works.

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